On Thursday, former President Donald Trump condemned Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) in the strongest of terms after the governor vetoed a bill protecting children from experimental transgender “treatments” that hamper normal bodily function and put kids on a path toward sterilization. While transgender activists argue that so-called “puberty blockers” and cross-sex hormones are lifesaving, these drugs interfere with bodily functions and may amount to a form of chemical castration.
The Arkansas legislature overrode Hutchinson’s veto on Tuesday, passing H.B. 1570, the Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act into law.
“Asa Hutchinson, the lightweight RINO Governor of Arkansas, just vetoed a Bill that banned the CHEMICAL CASTRATION OF CHILDREN,” Trump said in a blistering statement. “‘Bye-bye Asa,’ that’s the end of him! Fortunately for the Great State of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders will do a fantastic job as your next Governor!”
Sanders, who served as Trump’s White House secretary between 2017 and 2019, announced her candidacy for Arkansas governor in January. While Sanders faces Leslie Rutledge, the state’s current attorney general, in the Republican primary, she has enjoyed the endorsements of Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, her father former Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sean Hannity, and more.
While Hutchinson arguably deserved much of Trump’s strong denunciation for vetoing H.B. 1570, the former president may have gone overboard. Hutchinson caved on this important bill, but he had previously signed laws protecting religious freedom in health care and banning biological males from competing against females in women’s sports.
Hutchinson warned that H.B. 1570 would involve “creating new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters dealing with young people.” He accused the legislature of trying to make the state “the definitive oracle of medical care” for children in Arkansas.
While these are valid concerns, the horrific practices H.B. 1570 seeks to ban arguably justify such a law.
Last year, Britain’s High Court ruled that children under age 16 lack the ability to consent to “puberty-blocking” drugs and cross-sex hormones that have irreversible life-long effects. Children who undergo such “treatments” often persist in transgender identity and lose their ability to have children later in life. They often undergo transgender surgery.
There is no evidence that transgender surgery improves the mental health outcomes of gender dysphoric people. Men and women who formerly identified as transgender and underwent surgery have grown to reject transgender identity and lament the damage they did to their own bodies.
Some endocrinologists have warned about the negative effects of “puberty-blockers” and cross-sex hormones.
“I call it a development blocker — it’s actually causing a disease,” Dr. Michael Laidlaw, an independent private practice endocrinologist in Rocklin, Calif., who consults with Sutter Roseville Medical Center, told PJ Media. The disease in question is hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. It occurs when the brain fails to send the right signal to the gonads to make the hormones necessary for development.
Much of the medical establishment has rushed to embrace transgender ideology, championing experimental “treatments” that seek to alter otherwise healthy male and female bodies to make them conform to a cross-sex gender identity. While the government should not interfere in medicine, the state arguably has a duty to protect children who lack the capacity to make lifelong decisions from “treatments” that will set them on a path toward the mutilation of their own bodies.
“Our laws should protect every child’s opportunity to have a natural childhood. While approaches may differ, we should all agree that there is nothing natural or healthy about pumping kids full of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones,” Matt Sharp, director of state government relations at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), said in a statement.
“Children should not be pushed to receive experimental treatments that can leave them permanently sterile and physically marred for life,” he argued.
Trump is right: Hutchinson should have signed H.B. 1570 into law. Yet the governor’s overall record does not reveal him to be a Republican-in-name-only (RINO). We already have John Kasich for that category.